Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Makeup Revolution Foundation Stick




After the launch of their new concealer which I have been using on a daily basis (I write a post which you can read here), I had high expectations for their new fast base foundation stick. The brand put emphasis on the creamy aspect of the foundation, and that was what drew me in it. I have previously found that creamy products have worked best with my dry skin, as matte products can feel dry and feel uncomfortable on the skin. This claims to have a more satin finish which also ticked a box as I like a more dewy finish.

I bought this in the shade F3 which is for fair skin with pink undertones, it is a good match but a little bit too light so I would maybe go for F5 next time. I once again was impressed with the shade range which includes 18 shades with all different undertones. The concealers and foundations are supposed to marry up in numbers which is very handy.

The day I bought this I literally could not wait to wear it. When I touched the texture of the foundation it was extremely creamy and felt a little bit oily in texture. This has an easy to apply twist stick which is very handy. I apply this straight onto my skin with strokes covering my entire face. I find that it does easily blend into the skin when using a damp beautyblender to apply this. The problem I have been having is that when I blend it in, I feel like it sits on the surface of the skin. If I touch my skin even 10 minutes after application, my skin feels greasy as it has not absorbed into the skin at all. I have different tried primers, setting sprays and my trusty setting powder but none of them seem to make a difference.

The actual wear of the foundation is not too horrific, once on the skin it does last a good amount of time. As I have said my skin is very dry at the moment, and it does still cling to my dry patches which is never a positive aspect to any product. I struggled with building it up and getting it to not look greasy due to the texture being so creamy. I am not sure what type of skin this would be best for, as with oily skin I feel like you would just look very shiny. I think if you have just a normal skin type this would probably be okay as it shouldn't look greasy and may sit better on the skin. It definitely offers more of a satin finish which is what it states, and it does give a slight glowy edge to the skin which I like.

I totally get where Makeup Revolution was trying to go with this. For £5, this is an okay foundation. You will probably guess though that overall right now I am disappointed with how this foundation looks on the skin. I would love them to bring out a foundation with the same consistency as the concealer. I totally get that a new foundation with a creamy consistency and a satin finish is needed on the drugstore market, and that was the reason I snatched it up so quickly. I have read many reviews of this foundation from both bloggers and on Superdrug's website, and I have not seen anyone who has said that it is a must have product. One of my friends also messaged me to say she was disappointed in the finish and wear on her skin. I am totally going to try this again once my skin is a lot less dry, and hopefully I will have a better outcome. Overall, unlike the concealer which I could not get enough of, this foundation has disappointed me. I think it is important to stay real and still blog about disappointing products which I would not necessarily recommend.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Ordinary Haul


So with my skin changing at such a fast pace, I thought it was time to step up my skincare range. Since The Ordinary launched I have tried quite a few of their products and I have always been impressed.

So my biggest skincare issue at the moment is dehydration. I thought I needed to invest in some products to really add some hydration back into my skin. Hylauronic acid 2% + B5 (£5.90) seems to have been my perfect answer. The formula claims to have different size molecules which are suppose to help penetrate instead of sitting on the surface of the skin, therefore adding hydration to all the layers of the skin.

To add some more hydration I picked up the 100% plant derived squalane (£5.50). This contains a high level of emollients which are suppose to once again be great at providing hydration but also prevent any loss of hydration already in the skin. Squalane is non-comedogenic which is supposed to reduce potential breakouts.

I have previously tried one of their primers when my skin was much oiler and I enjoyed using it. This time I decided to order their high spreadability fluid serum (£5.50), this is a fluid serum which comes with a peppet. This acts as the perfect last step before adding any base makeup products; therefore I want a light, hydrating primer which is going to be perfect for my makeup to settle on to. I have tried this quite a few times and I am enjoying using it. It is a little bit thicker than I thought it was going to be, but it does work well especially for drier skin. This contains silicon which is supposed to be the stand out product, as it adds a little bit of glow and life back into the skin.

Once again when I had oiler skin I tried their full coverage foundation which I thought was a good foundation, I wrote a whole blog post about it here. This time round I decided to try the Serum foundation (£5.70), which offers a lighter medium coverage. This shade range is fantastic and comes in 21 shades, I choose the shade 1.1P (light skin with pink undertones). This applies easily across the skin with my beautyblender and blends well into my skin. This has a semi-matte finish which has occasionally clings to the dry patches on my skin, but all of my foundations have been doing this at the moment. For the price this is a good foundation and I think this will be a go-to foundation in the summer for me, it contains SPF15 and it is lightweight enough for it not to feel too heavy on the skin.

This Natural moisturising factors + HA was one of the first products I ever bought from the brand. I originally bought this in the 30ml size as I wanted to trial it to see if it suited my skin or not. When I re-bought it this time round I got it in the bigger 100ml size and it cost just £6.80, which is such great value for money. The formula to this moisturiser contains 11 different amino acids which are aimed at helping the skin in lots of different ways. This also contains hyaluronic acid which is once again a hydrating agent. What I like about this is that it doesn't have a greasy texture. It has a smooth creamy consistency which is quite thick but still applies well to the entire face.

Have you got any skincare recommendations from The Ordinary?

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

One Month on Roaccutane


So I have been on roaccutane for one month now, and I thought it would be helpful for others who are considering going on the medication to give monthly updates. If you want to find out all about how I first got the medication and the process, I have put it in a post which you can read here. This is my first month's diary week by week as to how I have found it and the side effects so far.

In the first week I was prepared for my skin to 'purge'. To be fair my skin was much better than I thought it was going to be. I don't think my skin particularly purged, my skin broke out just as it would normally on a weekly basis.

In week two this is when my lips started to take their toll, I rushed out and bought a variety of different lip balms as I needed one in every handbag and pocket. I then noticed my skin becoming more sensitive than usual and put into place a very basic skincare routine which I will do a post on in a few weeks when I am sure my skin has not reacted to any products. What I can say is that there have been two products which my skin has not reacted to. One being Glossier's jelly milk cleanser and the other is La Roche-Posay's hydrating cream cleanser.

Week 3 was when I noticed that the tablets were really starting to kick in. On a night shift at work I went to the toilet at 2am in the morning, and I had to hold back my tears. My nose has really become dry and flaky, and has gone red as I have had to regularly exfoliate. I look like I have sunburn as the area is so delicate. When I looked into the mirror my foundation has clung to every dry part of my nose, and every follicle could be seen. I have been using two moisturisers and a primer before applying any makeup but it really doesn't seem to have had much effect. I also noticed the areas surrounding my lips becoming extra dry and big chunks of skin clinging on for dear life. During this week I noticed that my hair and scalp had become drier. I usually wash my hair every other day due to me feeling like it looks and feels greasy. However, I can now go at least 4 days with me still feeling that it looks okay, which to be fair has been great.

I think this past week has been the worst in terms of the dryness of my skin. My nose has continued to flake and it has become very sensitive to anything which I apply, this has now spread to under my nose. My problematic area of my acne has always been my chin and nose. I had huge clusters of pus filled spots to my chin and this was all hormonal. I got the occasional spot on my forehead and cheeks, but they were never a big issue. However, I have definitely seen a reduction of big spots around my chin. I have had some big under the skin spots which have been very itchy, and trying to leave them has been very difficult. I never thought that I would not be wearing makeup during this process, but I have not been enjoying applying makeup as the end result has been frustrating as everything I apply seems to just sit on top of the skin. On all of my days off I haven't been wearing any makeup at all. At work, I have been wearing it as it makes me feel more confident, but as soon as I get home it gets completely taken off there and then. On Friday, I wore 'going out' makeup for the first time since I started the medication. It took me about an hour to do my entire makeup as I did it slowly and carefully, and it actually looked okay. However, as I write this on Sunday evening my skin has seriously freaked out. I have broken out with three huge spots to the side of my head, and another two on my cheek and chin. This is all down the right side of my face which is strange. Hopefully, this will clear soon as I felt as though my skin was really improving. My lips have been the main problem though. The side of my lips have split and if I open my mouth fully it can bleed and it is very sore. My whole lips and surrounding areas are just flaking off, and unfortunately I think that is the way it is going to be for the next five months while I am on this medication.

Overall, this month was everything I expected. I had done a lot of research prior to going on to roaccutane so I was very much prepared. The only thing I have struggled with is the sensitivity of my skin, some days when washing my face it feels like I am having a chemical peel and it can really tingle and be painful. However, here's to month two and seeing what it has got in store for me.

Lucy
xoxo



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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer


(C3 top and C4 bottom)

So thanks to Holly Boon whose YouTube videos are sensational at the moment, the second she uploaded her review video of this new concealer I instantly clicked the link. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the Makeup Revolution conceal and define concealer. It has been compared to lots of different high end well known concealers such as Nars' creamy concealer and Estee Lauder's double wear. I love concealers they are one of my favourite makeup items as someone with areas of blemishes that I want covering up, I want a product which is going to do just that. What everyone was very excited about with this range was the large selection of shades. There is 18 shades which I think is fantastic, in 2018 everyone should be able to buy a concealer that matches their skin. I don't know what these companies who bring out three shades (cough, cough Collection) are thinking, there must be so much more profit in providing a range for all. Makeup Revolution has since announced that there are going to be 30 shades in this range in the new future.

As always I got pulled into this hype mainly due to it being a high end dupe and the price. It costs just £4, yes just £4! Sophiedoesnail did a really good swatch video and review. I find her great to watch as she is fair skinned like me, and I found it super helpful to try and find my shade. I settled on the shade C4 originally as it is for light skin tones with a neutral undertone. This is a pretty decent match for my skin but it is a tiny bit too dark. I think this is due to the undertone being very prominent which I cannot complain about, but I am a mix of neutral and pink undertones. I have been using this for at least 6 weeks now which I think is enough time to give a detailed review, I literally bought this on its first day of sales. About 4 weeks ago when shopping in Superdrug I decided to get a back up, due to the C4 having the slightly too dark undertone I picked up C3 which is for fair skin tones with pink undertones. The undertones to this are perfect for me, much better than C4 but it is a little bit too light. However, I find this works well with my lighter foundations, and C4 works well for my darker foundations. I think next time I should probably try out C5 as that is for light skin tones with pink undertones, however when I have looked at swatches it looks way too dark. I will have to swatch in store and see what it looks like in real life.

This is a lightweight concealer which applies sooo easily. It comes with a big doe foot applicator which I love, you can hear that the bottle contains a vacuum when you pull the applicator out which will keep it from drying out. The size of the applicator means you can easily get it in all the areas you want it with no fuss and it takes very little time. This has a very creamy consistency which I love as it glides over the skin without needing to drag the product in anyway. Due to its consistency it has been compared to Nars' radiant creamy concealer, and I have just swatched them next to each other and they are very similar. The Nars version it is a little bit thicker, whereas the Makeup Revolution one has more fluidity to its texture. Both of these are high coverage which are buildable without looking cakey. I think this Makeup Revolution concealer is a dupe for the high version. The only difference is that the Nars one has a little more of a radiant finish, whereas the Makeup Revolution has a demi-matte finish.

I have tried soooooo many concealers over the years, and I am definitely a good candidate to try out the full coverage and long wearing claims. When I am at work from waking up to walking through the door at night, my makeup is on my face for 14 hours. This stays in places for a good 5-6 hours before any wear can be seen.

I think this would be fine for all skin types. When I first bought this my skin was dry with some oily areas, and I was honestly telling everyone to buy it. I was literally wearing it everyday and that was the reason why I went for a backup. Since then my skin has got very dry due to my medication, and I have noticed that is has been collecting in areas of dry patches. To be fair, I have found that all my base products have been doing this so I do not think it is necessarily this product.

I have seen a lot of discussion surrounding the amount of product you get in this concealer bottle. Looking at the glass bottle you would think that it would contain a lot of product, when in fact it contains 3.4ml. In comparison with other concealers such as the Estee Lauder double wear which contains 7ml, and Nars' creamy concealer which has 6ml, so in the grand scheme of things it does contain a lot less product. I then went on a little mission with all of my other drugstore concealers, as I was intrigued to see how much they all contained. To my surprise my Sephora full coverage contained only 2.5ml, Seventeen stay time has 7ml and Colourpop no filter has 4ml. It is interesting as I never really look at the amount each product contains, but for £4 I think Makeup Revolution have had to make a cut somewhere to keep the product cheap. Therefore, you are obviously going to use it up quicker, hence me saying I bought the back up so soon. However, I still think buying two at £8 and having 6.8ml is still a bargain.

You can probably tell I have really enjoyed using this concealer, and it is by far one of the best drugstore products from any brand to be released in a long time.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Glossier Priming Moisturizer


I bought this months ago in my first ever Glossier order. The Glossier priming moisturizer is part of their phase 1 skincare set which costs £35 (saving £8), which also includes the balm dot com and jelly cleanser. I recently put up a post about their jelly cleanser which you can read here. I have been using this for a good month or two now, and I have to say I have really enjoyed using it.

It has a cream like consistency just like a moisturiser would. This is what contributes to it feeling as though it has really sunk into the skin. At first I was a little dubious about this as many people said to skip the priming moisturiser and go straight in with their priming moisturizer rich, but when I originally ordered this my skin did not need as much priming as it does at the moment. My skin is very dry currently, I apply this after my two moisturisers and it adds the last step to try to keep my base makeup looking the best it can. It evens the skin tone, but also you are able to layer it up if necessary without it feeling too thick on the skin. I have been adding an extra layer onto the areas where my skin is particularly dry to try and prevent my foundation from flaking, budging and most importantly creating an even application.

One of the things I love about Glossier is their simplicity. They contain simple ingredients and are not pumped with lots of parabens and fragrances, which often upset my skin. All round this is a great product, which I have very much been enjoying using. It is definitely a multi-purpose product. I read in the reviews on the Glossier that many people use this just as a moisturiser day and night. Like I have said, I use this as the last stage before applying my makeup, as I think it is a little bit more than just a moisturiser and it creates a good canvas. It has a much runnier formula than what I am used to but that creates a slightly tacky base. All round for £18 each, I think this would work well on all skin types and I will be recommending it to my friends.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 25 March 2018

La Roche-Posay Skincare



With my skin turning into what feels like a desert at the moment due to my medication, I was in desperate need of some skin saving products. I have used La Roche-Posay many times, and I have always been impressed. The pricing to their products stand somewhere in the middle of drugstore and high end.

I did quite a bit of research into what products would work best for my skin. Katie Snooks has been an absolute life saver and in this video talks about how La Roche-Posay have created a range for people who are on medication for their acne. It contains ingredients which are not going to be too harsh on the skin or cause any side effects.

I was in desperate need of a cleanser which wasn't going to strip my skin of any hydration which it may have left, and if possible add some moisture. I have been using the Glossier jelly cleanser and I have really been enjoying using it, however I needed something to go alongside it which had a lighter texture. The effaclar H cleansing cream states its target audience is skin made fragile by over drying treatments. That is the definition of my skin in one sentence. I have been using this for 3 weeks now morning and night and I love it. It is a light textured cream which lathers in your hands, I then apply it to my wet face and cover my entire face. The cleanser eliminates impurities without over drying or adding any uncomfortable tightness to the skin.

The effaclar H moisturiser has been working hand in hand with the cleanser. After drying my face after using the cleanser, I then apply the multi compensating soothing moisturiser to my entire face. I need something which is going to add as much hydration and moisturiser as humanly possible. This is targeted for weak and fragile skin. I like this a lot, it has quite a thick creamy texture which does add hydration. However, I use this in combination with my Kiehl's ultra facial oil-free cream as it is not quite enough on its own.

I have never owned Elizabeth Arden's eight hour cream, but I imagine it to be just like this La-Roche Posay cicaplast baume B5 which is a soothing repairing balm. This is a double action cream which soothes and protects skin which is irritated and sensitive. It is an all round product to keep in the bottom of your handbag for when you are in need. You can use it on your face, hands, lips and body. During the day I have found that my lips and hand are what have been taken the brunt of the side effects of the medication, and I can apply this for some quick relief. It is not too thick or rich which is great as it rubs into the skin easily.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Benefit Badgal Bang Mascara




 



Well there’s no denying Benefit went all out with the launch of their latest mascara. There was bloggers whisked off to the Maldives and they only discovered themselves whilst on the holiday what the launch was for.

I have to say I was a little underwhelmed when I heard it was another mascara. However, the Benefit mascaras are definitely what put the brand on the map. Me being me I wanted to try it out, like any launch which has such hype surrounding it. If you have been a reader of my blog since the start, you will know how much I struggle to find great mascaras. I only have a few in my collection as when I find one that I like, I stick with it until it has run out. My most recent go to has been the L’Oreal Paradise. My lashes are long but sparse so I need one that gives me the most volume possible and this does the job perfectly.

The Benefit Badgal Bang mascara states to do literally everything you would want in a mascara. It promises to lift, lengthen and add lots of volume. A bold claim which I wanted to put to the test. Now this mascara also claims to contain brand new, never before seen gravity defying ingredients which are suppose to not weigh your lashes down. It states it is a “gravity defying formula containing aero-particles one of the lightest materials, derived from space technology”. It all sounds very new and exciting.

So the most important part of a mascara for me is the wand. I think the wand is what makes a mascara a hit or miss. This one is much thinner than what I had imagined. It is in a slight cone shape which starts thicker at the top and finishes smaller at the tip. I do not think the bristles are particularly long but they differ in size along the brush. I find that the bristles grip the lashes well which helps to build length from tip to root. I also find curling my eyelashes before application definitely helps to build the volume.

A downside to this product is how wet the formula is. After I apply it I have to ensure I leave a good few minutes before adding any setting spray as it easily smudges. This can also cause smudging when first applying, and the formula can end up catching on my eyelid which can be hell of annoying when I have spent 20 minutes trying to get the perfect blended eyeshadow. Therefore, I know that I have to apply it in smaller amounts and build it up to prevent any smudges from occurring.

This is a nice mascara that does work well at building length and volume. However, I am not particularly raving from the rooftops about it. I do not think it is quite as revolutionary as it makes out, and it is not a product which I would tell my friends to run out and buy. It's a good mascara which does the job, but it still does fulfil my dream mascara expectations.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Hamburg Sephora Haul


When I went to Hamburg I may have slipped, tripped and accidentally fell into Sephora. At the moment I am on the look out for any type of hydrating products, and I bought quite a few things from Sephora's own collection. I purchased the almond foot mask, which I have tried before in the lavender scent and I loved it. This is the comforting and repair sock mask, which you wear as they are an actual pair of socks which contain moisturising properties. I also picked up the shea lip mask which protects and repairs, it looks amazing and I cannot wait to try to this. I am excited to try the purple clay mask, which can be used alone or to multi-task in combination with any of the other seven masks in this line. The purple clay masks purpose is to moisturising and smoothes. This was only about 6 euros and I was really impressed as you get 4 uses out it, it comes with a screw on lid so hopefully it will not go hard and should stay fresh for future uses.

I bought two more items from the Sephora collection, the first is the rose moisturising cream. I have never seen this before on previous visits to Sephora, and I was intrigued to try it out. The moisturising creams have a smooth and lightweight texture that quenches and brightens the skin. What drew me into buying this is how it says it hydrates and adds nourishment to the skin, but does not leave any oily or sticky residue. As I spent over a certain amount of money, the assistant gave me a free lotus sleeping mask. I did not realise until now that this was not a sample and they actually sell these on an individual basis. This sleeping mask line has a rich cream-gel texture, and aims to lock in water and reduce any signs of fatigue. I also picked up the Sephora brush cleaning sponge, which I love the idea of. There is nothing worse than the prospect of cleaning makeup brushes, it is a chore which I hate to do.

The detailing to the packaging of this new Sephora's own brand line is stunning. I started swatching the #lipstories line and the formula felt really creamy and the pigmentation was beautiful. I picked up the shade spring break (36) which has a satin finish. It is a everyday, wearable pink nude (nothing new!) and I instantly added it into my basket. At the till I was looking at all of the extra items which always draw me in. I saw this Lanolips lemonade lip treatment, and I quickly tried the tester and I loved it. It felt super soft to apply, so without a second thought I threw it in at the tills and I cannot wait to put this to the test.

I am really happy with everything which I picked up on this Sephora trip. For once, I think I actually did not go overboard and I will get good use out of all of these products. If there is any hits which I totally love, I will report back soon.

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

German Supermarket Haul


In my Hamburg travel post, I mentioned that there was a supermarket which we went a little crazy in. We had been on a hot and stuffy bus tour for 2 hours, and when we got off we were very thirsty. We went into this supermarket called Rossmann for just a quick drink, but our eyes were instantly drawn in to the confectionery aisle.

Firstly, we found some cute little chocolate bars with bunnies imprinted in them. I don't know what it is, but when you are in a different country the prospect of trying new chocolate is just so exciting. I bought one bar for myself and two for little presents for my friends. These were just 0.69 each. I also bought two big chocolate bunnies for presents for my grandparents, but unfortunately one got entirely smashed on the way home as they are hollow.

On the way to the makeup aisle which I had spied at the back of the store, I stumbled across an entire stand dedicated to lip balms. I have been buying lip balms left, right and centre recently as my lips are so dry. I was really intrigued by this lip balm which cost just 0.40, it was on promotion and I wanted to test it out. There was a really great array of brands in Rossmann, and I was really impressed by the amount of makeup on offer. I only had a few minutes to have a look, as my sister knows I can spend quite a long time browsing the aisles. I saw that there was a Catrice stand, and was instantly drawn in. I have bought a few items from Cartice previously when I have been on holiday in Italy, but the brand is unfortunately not sold in the UK. First of all, I picked up their liquid camouflage full coverage concealer. I am always on the hunt for new drugstore concealers which are great, so I shall be putting this to the test shortly. I also picked up one of their liquid metal everlasting cream eyeshadows in the shade daily dose of rose, as with one swatch of the tester it looked incredible. It was shiny and shimmering rather than glittery and it felt silky soft to apply. Both of the makeup items were 3.95 each.

Whilst waiting in the queue to pay I did a bit of panic buying, throwing into my basket anything and everything which looked vaguely interesting. I added to my basket the Haribo bunnies as these just looked so cute, and the Orbit strawberry chewing gum. Everything which I bought came to 17 which I think is really good value for everything I got.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Imperial Leather Unicorn Marshmallow Foamburst



Whilst browsing the aisles of the supermarket I saw this new Imperial Leather Unicorn Marshmallow Foamburst on a stand. There's no denying that the packaging caught my eye and made me drawn into the display. I have been a huge fan of Imperial Leather's foamburst for years, and when I was younger I remember my mum buying it me as a treat. There is no denying that this instantly took me back to my childhood. I am not quite sure where this recent unicorn phenomenon has come from, but I am definitely on board with it.

The thing which I love the most of the foamburst line is how once you spray it out of the can it is a soft pink thick liquid, as soon as it hits water it instantly disputes into a thinner white foam which feels incredibly soft to touch. The best bit is applying it to your body as it feels so silky smooth, and it leaves your skin feeling moisturised. I do like the scent of marshmallow, but sometimes in products it can be a little overwhelming. In this, it contains just the right amount of sweetness and does not smell sickly.

The bottle advertises that you get 40 showers out of one bottle. I think this is a little optimistic as I always get excited and I probably squirt out a little too much. A little does go a long way though as once the water hits the liquid the amount of foam doubles in size. All in all, this is not just a fun product. I think this is actually a very good body wash and it is not just all about the gimmicks. I like the scent, it feels soft to touch, and moisturises the skin. The normal price is £3.15 which is such a bargain, but even better it is currently on an introductory offer for just £2.00 in all retailers. I am definitely going to be stocking up as it such a lovely product.

Lucy
xoxo


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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser




In 2017 Glossier landed in the U.K. with a bang, and as always I needed a piece of the action. On the day of the launch I was online at the crack of dawn to buy everything in sight. As always I had done my research and I wanted everything.

The milky jelly cleanser is nothing fancy, but it does not claim to be. It is a cleanser which you can use day or night as a first or second cleanser. I have been using this mostly at night after removing my makeup with micellar water, as a deeper cleanse to ensure all traces of my makeup have gone. I feel that this is a great non fuss product, and that is the exact reason why Glossier as a brand is doing so well. The cleanser is £15, which I think is a great price. Glossier has put themselves slap bang in the middle ground between the drugstore and high end.

It says to use on dry skin to dissolve makeup, or to use on wet skin as a first daily cleanse. I use this day and night but I prefer to use it on wet skin, as I think it provides a more thorough cleanse. This has a creamy gel consistency which I find leaves my skin feeling fresh and most importantly clean. I hate that feeling after using a cleanser when your skin doesn't feel thoroughly cleansed. It claims to have five essential ingredients which when combined together create this beautiful concoction of this cleanser. Like I have already said, this is a no frills product. However, this is the exact reason as to why I like it. In terms of the product containing a scent, rosewater is used rather than standard water and that gives it a very subtle scent. I am not a big fan of my skincare products having scents which are too overwhelming, but the rosewater gives the cleanser the perfect finishing touch.

As you know my skin is very dry at the moment, and this has been really great at taking my makeup off. I think this is due to not containing any harsh ingredients which could cause any further dryness or making my skin react in anyway. Glossier you get a big thumbs up on this from me on this!

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Hamburg


Last weekend I went on my first trip of the year to Hamburg. It is not somewhere which was particularly at the top of my must see places, but there is a little story behind how we ended up there. So you may remember last October, I went to Madrid with my best friends. I had a fabulous time, however the holiday was not quite as smooth as we had expected. It was the time where Ryanair cancelled tens of thousands of flights. We were the unlucky people who got hit with this and our flight back to Manchester got cancelled and we ended up flying back to London. Ryanair were not giving compensation due them offering us a flight back to the UK. They gave each flyer a voucher for £80 to spend on any flights before June 2018. At first, I was so angry that the flight was cancelled and vowed to never fly with them again. After the holiday, I had the usual holiday blues so on the last day possible me and my sister started searching flights. My sister is a teacher so is tied to school holidays. However, we found return flights from Manchester to Hamburg for both of us for just £56! We booked the flights on the whim, and decided if we did not want to go nothing would be lost. 

We decided nearer the time we really fancied going and booked our hotel at the Holiday Inn Express which cost us £120 for both of us for two nights. So really we only had to pay £60 each to get there and back, and have our accommodation covered. Our flights left Manchester at 06.35 in the morning, so it was a 3am wake up call for us. The flight was only one hour and 20 mins, and with the one hour time difference we arrived at 9am. We headed straight to the hotel after collecting our cases, to drop them off and recoup. The service from the hotel was exceptional as it was so early we thought we would have to put them in the suitcase room, but they had our room already ready. It was a spacious twin room with a lovely bathroom and all the basic necessities you need. The hotel was located in Lubecker Strasse, which was a great location. It was a little bit out of the city centre, but it is conveniently located just a five minute walk to two different u-bahn (underground tram) stations. To get into the city centre from the hotel there was a direct tram which was just three stops, an approximate 15 minute journey. From the airport we bought a ticket which cost €3.30 and there was a direct journey to the Landbehr s-bahn station, which was also just a short walk to the hotel.

We had already planned most of the trip before we went as we were literally in the city for just 48 hours. We had bought a guide book and had done quite a bit of research before we set off. Me and my sister love zoos there is no denying it and we love to visit them whenever we are able to. The zoo was called the Tierback Hagenback and is located in Stellingen. It was easy to get to, but as expected it took about 30 minutes to get to as it was outside the city centre. Both of the full days we were there we bought all day tram tickets that cost €6.70. When we arrived we discovered that there was also an aquarium attached the zoo, so we decided to buy the combination ticket for €30 for both attractions. 

 



The zoo was huge, much bigger than we thought it would be. It had so many amazing animals including some which I have never seen before including walruses and chinese leopards. I have been to quite a few zoos over the years all over the world, and this zoo had many endangered species including polar bears and red pandas. I was so excited at the prospect of seeing brown bears as they are such inquisitive animals, and I am a massive lover of paddington bear. However, they were not in their outdoor enclosure, and unfortunately you couldn't see their indoor one. Hamburg is a cold place and they had had some snow over the weekend before we arrived so there was quite a lot of ice in the park. We came to the conclusion for the safety of the animals, most of them were kept indoors.  




We had our first experience of German food at the zoo, as I had bratwurst and fries which tasted incredible. After the zoo which took us at least 5 hours to go round, it was time to head to the aquarium. It was once again massive; it had such a great array of sea life. There was a walkway all the way round where there was lots of different species of sea creatures from fish to turtles. There was also a huge cinema size tank which you could follow around the aquarium, you could also sit and watch all the creatures swimming by. It contained once again a variety of fish, but also stingrays and smaller sharks. It was mesmerising to see and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was also a huge tank of jellyfish and my favourites the clown fish as I adore finding nemo.


  


After we had finished at the aquarium it was around 6pm and as it was a Sunday, we thought that if we went back into the city centre there would be nothing open during the Sunday trading. Therefore, we decided to head back to the hotel to recoup before heading out for our tea. When we were on our way back to the hotel we decided to go for a little walk, the hotel staff had said on our arrival that there were a number of restaurants on the street where the hotel was situated. There was a lovely little Italian we had stumbled across 2 minutes from the hotel, so decided we would go back there later in the evening to eat. As we had been up since 3am, we went to the restaurant at around 7.30pm. We both ate lasagnes and it was a lovely little restaurant with one man running everything. We strolled back to the hotel, and decided we would have a drink in the hotel lobby before heading to bed. We had a quick glance at the menu and quickly concluded it would cost €9 for a single vodka and lemonade. Me and my sister did that awkward glance at each other, and quickly backtracked and just ordered soft drinks. 

The next morning we woke up at 8am, and headed downstairs to the breakfast buffet which was included in our hotel booking. We had decided the night before that we would go on a bus tour of the city to see the sites at a glance, and would get off along the way if we saw anywhere where we wanted a further look. When we arrived we discovered the tours only ran every hour and we had just missed the start of one tour, so we had an hour to wait before the next one commenced. We did a quick Google search, and found out that Sephora was conveniently located just 5 minutes away. It is located inside a shopping department store called Galeria. It had a great array of different brands, and I obviously had to treat myself to a few things. A haul will be on the way in the next few weeks!

We finally made it on to the tour and we were able to see many of the main attractions Hamburg has to offer. First up, we saw the Hamburg Rathaus. This is the Hamburg's city hall and is the seats of government. It was built in the late 1800's, and has some amazing features. The building is a masterpiece, and is definitely the statement of the city.


St Paul's Church was beautiful and you are able to go inside for a further look. It was such a well kept church, and it has some gorgeous stained-glass windows inside. The architecture from the outside was timeless and I love how it has kept its original ornate features. 


Further around the tour we saw many more impressive buildings including the library, grand theatre and post office. On the tour we learnt that Hamburg is well known for its theatres, and the city hosts the largest number of theatre productions after New York and London.




The tour took nearly 2 hours to go around the entire circuit. After the tour had finished, we decided to head to the main shopping street called the Spitalerstrasse. We needed a drink so decided to nip into what looked like a very basic supermarket. We were very pleasantly surprised as we quickly got coaxed in by the chocolate aisle. It was so cheap and we decided to buy all of our souvenirs in here. We got caught up in the moment, and before I know it I had a basket and was heading down to the makeup aisle. Even though my basket was full I only spent €17. I am going to a German supermarket haul, as I honestly picked up so fabulous things. 

We then headed for a spot of shopping and stumbled across a huge shopping centre called Europa Passage which is located on the Monckebergstrasse. It had five floors, and lots and lots of shops mostly high street but some high end also. We spent a good hour wandering around here, and then went for some dinner at one of the cafes. By this time it was 4 o clock, and we decided to head to the higher end of the shopping parade called the Neuer Wall. We took a look in Abercrombie and Fitch, where my sister treated herself. I then went for a gander in Gucci, as those sneakers will be mine at some point. 

The weather over both days in the cities was very cold. The temperature was about 1 degree celsius, and there was a constant bitter wind. However, we were just glad there was no snow or rain, and the weather was actually quite bright and pleasant. We just made sure we wrapped up warm. To warm up a little we headed to Starbucks for a quick tea break, and took a little time to recoup. 

We had decided we would treat ourselves and go to The Hard Rock Cafe for our last meal. We usually have to wait a while as they are always so busy, but we only had a 20 or so minute wait. Yes it is overpriced, but I always thoroughly enjoy the food that they offer. The burgers we had were delicious, but once again alcohol was expensive and our cocktails were €10 each. We decided we would just have one each as a holiday treat. In all honestly after the burgers, we were in food comas and our feet were killing from all the shopping. We arrived back at the hotel at 9pm, and decided we would pack our bags and settle down for the night watching the winter Olympics. Our flight home the next day was at 09.35, so we needed to get up at 6am.

On the last day, we headed down for breakfast once again and headed back on the tram to the airport. The airport was huge, and the process through security and on to the plane home was very smooth. 

We would have liked to have spent another full day in the city, as we had planned to go the miniature wonderland which is the world's largest model railway system. We got a bit carried away with our afternoon shopping, and we just could not fit it in. Ryanair only flew to Hamburg three times a week so the flights were very limited. 

Overall, we both had a fabulous time in Hamburg and we both said we were really glad that we went. However, I don't think it is a city to visit for a long period of time. I think three full days is the perfect amount of time to be able to see and do all the sites. There aren't a huge number of sites to visit, and you can definitely fit a few things into one day. We thought everything (except alcohol!) was good priced, and to put things into perspective we spent €200 each over the 48 hours. We did both spend about €50 on personal shopping though!

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Living My Life to the Full



I often find myself questioning myself constantly when I am buying something, or agreeing to do something. I constantly think can I afford it, should I do it, or should I be saving. I have been like this since a child. I would save my pocket money and birthday money and would never really buy myself things. I do think it is a good way to be always wanting to save money, and not be spending all the time. But recently I have found myself becoming very frustrated with myself.

I am 23 and I have worked hard to earn the money I do as a nurse. I often turn done socialising or being able to do something spontaneous as I either have work or I do the next day. That is just how shift patterns work. I feel in 2017, I went on this big money saving campaign and each month I would get paid, pay my bills and then I would give myself a tight budget to live by even though I didn't need to. I was constantly saying oh I'll save this, and I will save that. In the grand scheme of things, I feel as though I am not living my life to the fullest. I am saving for a house, I was an adult and finally opened a help to buy ISA. This is going to take me at least 4 years to just get a deposit together. As well as the money saving for this, I am always putting money away separately. I know this is going to take me a good 5 years to be able to afford everything. In the meantime, I do not want to just save every penny, every month, just to be able to buy a house a little earlier than planned. I am happy at home at the moment, and I am done with the pressures of everyone thinking your life is complete by buying a house. I think owning a home is a fantastic thing, but I want to also live my life.

Me and my best friends have this discussion often, and we say how fast life is going. How being 18 feels like two minutes ago and questioning where the time has gone. I want to live my twenties and do everything I want to. I love travelling, and everyone at work calls me the globetrotter for going on mini weekends whenever I am off work. For me, time off work is precious and I want to use it wisely. I want to create memories and live my life to the fullest. I do not want to have any regrets, and this is why I think I need to start living my life. I need to be more care free, saying yes more and not instantly doing quick sums in my head. I know I am in a lucky position to be living at home (I do pay rent!), but it still doesn't mean I can't treat myself to fancy things. Like I have said, saving money and be careful is a great quality of mine. My dad calls me tight all the time, and says the moths are coming out when I open my purse! I just want to be a little more care free and not being thinking about life in 5 years. I want to live in the moment, and not regret not doing anything. I am not talking about living beyond my means, and wrecking up credit cards. I simply mean being a little more free and stopping feeling bad for treating myself to something I have wanted for ages. I hate the feeling of guilt, and it is something which I feel often and it makes me feel so miserable.

I think with the hawks of the media, we constantly live on the edge. We are made to feel bad for being a millennial, with no house, being single and not having children. I am no way ready for any of this, and I think that is perfectly fine. I hear so many people saying I wish I had done this in my twenties, if I had my time again I would do things differently. This is why, I want to start living in the moment.  Life for every single person on this planet is different, people take different paths and this is what life is about. Not everyday is going to be easy, but we grow as a person as we get over these hurdles. Here is to me saying yes to more things, spending  more on myself and not regretting anything I do.

Lucy
xoxo

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

It's Finally Happening


A few months ago I posted this post here which was my first ever proper blog post outlining all about my skin woes. I have had a never ending battle with acne for 10 years, and I thought it was time to be very honest. I went to my dermatologist appointment last week, and it was literally the quickest appointment of my life. I mentioned in the last post how I saw a different dermatologist at my last appointment, and I felt as though the ball was really starting to be put into motion.

At this appointment with the dermatologist consultant, he literally walked in the room and said "right I am putting you on roaccutane". I was a little speechless and did not know how to react and I my throat went instantly dry. I told him I had done my research and I understood everything involved in the process. He is starting me off with 40mg of roaccutane (isotretinion is the brand name) for two months and then I am going back to see how I am getting on. He thinks I am going to need to be on the course for a total of 6 months, and may up the dose after 2 months depending on how my skin is looking.

Due to the harsh side effects from the drug, I signed a pro claimer to say I understand the effects of getting pregnant on the drug. I am already on a contraceptive pill, so he was happy that I did not need to have the monthly blood tests and pregnancy tests. He asked me to have a blood test there and then to check my different levels before starting the treatment.

I felt as though the appointment was a bit of a whirlwind, but I did manage to ask him about skincare and makeup. He said all skincare should be for hydrating and moisturising the skin. He also said it is fine to wear makeup, as long as I make sure I remove it completely. He very much emphasised the fact that I should be using oil free makeup and skincare. This is as roacctuane is reducing oil production so products containing oil will counteract this.

I have a few a different ideas of posts which I want to do over the next six months. I am currently very excited at the prospect of finally having acne free skin. The thought is actually quite scary as this has literally become my life, and I have very much learnt to live with it. But, and it is a big but, I know this is not going to be easy. I am already worrying about the day my skin is going to purge, whether it is going to happen on a day when I need to go to work for 12.5 hours. I have been on many antibiotics, contraceptive pills and creams over the last 6 years, all of which have never had any serious side effects. I have tried to prepare myself mentally for what is going to happen, but I know I am still going to have many days where I am not sure what to do. I am just going to take everyday as it comes, and hope it will all be worth it once the treatment is completed.

Lucy
xoxo


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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder


This is a powder which in the 4 years of having this blog, I am beyond shocked that this is the first time I given this powder its own dedicated blog post. I remember me and my best friend buying this in Boots during high school when we were probably 15 and we had saved up our dinner money to buy it. Over the last 8 years I have probably bought at least 5 of these, as along the way I really got into MAC's mineralise skinfinish which I have to say is a really great powder. As MAC continue to put up their prices when my last pan finished I refused to pay £22 for another powder. I am not sure what it is but to me a powder is quite a plain product, it doesn't look fancy and it seems like a bit of non exciting part of my makeup collection. This is the reason I buy just one powder at a time.

This Rimmel stay matte powder is definitely an underrated product in the beauty market. What I like about this powder is how lightweight this feels on my skin. I have quite a jam packed base routine, so I need a powder which is going to glide onto my skin and add a light coverage to my base makeup. I do not want a thick powder which is going to add cakeyness or uneven coverage to my skin. It feels very soft and smooth when first applied to the skin which is always an added bonus. I use the shade peach blossom, which has a slightly pink undertone and is a great match for my skin tone.

As the name suggests that aims to give a matte finish. My skin is currently quite dry, so I do not usually go for matte types of products. However, this sets my makeup and takes away any excess oil or shininess. This powder contains no fragrances or oils which means it will not clog pores. Many beauty products contain a variety of fragrances and oils, and I need to get into the routine of looking at ingredients lists.

Best of all, this powder costs just £4!

Lucy
xoxo
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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Acne Proof Base



I have finally got together the products which I find help keep my base products on for as long as possible. This has taken a good few months to crack, and it is finally worth me putting them all together in one giant post.

I start off after applying my moisturiser by adding the Smashbox photo finish silicon primer to my entire face. My foundation of choice for everyday wear is the L'Oreal true match which is a medium coverage foundation with a first application, but it is easily buildable to full coverage which is what I do. I blend my foundation with my beloved Beautyblender. I did not get the hype of this little sponge for years and years, but a year or so ago I finally purchased one and now I rave about it to anyone who will listen. I then add a layer or two of the newest item to this base routine, and it is the Makeup Revolution conceal and define concealer. This has become an absolute must have, it is a full coverage concealer which does everything you want, and costs just £4!

For powder I use the Rimmel stay matte powder. Last year, I tested a few high end powders including Charlotte Tilbury and MAC. I recently went back to the Rimmel one, and for £4 it is such a great powder and does the exact same job as the high end versions. I had wanted to try the RMCA powder for soooo long, and I finally picked it up after reading so many reviews. I use this lightly on the tip of beautyblender to set my makeup especially over my chin area, which is where my clusters of acne usually are. This is the area which 100% wears throughout the day the quickest, therefore it is the area which needs the most staying power. Lastly, I use the Gerard Cosmetics slay all day setting spray. I am not sure how good setting sprays are, but this does add some last minute hydration back into my skin and also helps to lock in the finishing touches to my base makeup. After this process is complete, I finish the rest of my makeup. Once my entire makeup is finished I add another spritz of the setting spray, for a final lock in. 

You may be thinking it must take me ages to do this base routine, but really it is just six simple steps and doing it on a daily basis means I complete it in about five minutes. The most important step is to make sure that the foundation is fully blended in, so that when the concealer and powder is applied it does not look cakey. 

I am definitely able to put products to the longevity test as my shifts at work are 12.5 hours, so I have my makeup on for approximately 15 hours a day. This new routine has mainly revolved around adding in the primer, RMCA powder and setting spray. From these extra products and steps I have definitely seen an improvement in the longevity to my overall makeup. I often pop to the loos at different times of the day to see how long my makeup is wearing. My makeup is usually still looking great at the 4-5 hour mark. Beyond this I definitely start to see some minimal wear, I always think until about 7 hours I am happy with my makeup. This is a definite improvement as previously at the 5 hour mark there would have been much more wear. After 8-9 hours it is pretty much a downward spiral if I am being brutally honest, everything starts to melt into my face and there are obvious signs of wear. By the time I get home my base makeup is just about still intact, but you can see in my greasier areas is where there has been the most wear.

On a more positive note, I use this base routine for my nights out and I always feel as though it is all locked in for the entire night. It is unusual for someone to have their makeup on their faces as long I do, but as I have mentioned these steps have definitely helped to add to the longevity and overall wear of my makeup. If you are looking for ways to add to your overall makeup staying power, try adding a few more simple steps to your basic base routine.

Lucy
xoxo

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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Olivia Burton Lace Detail Black and Gold Watch


This beautiful Olivia Burton lace detail black and gold watch was a present from my lovely big sister for Christmas. I had mentioned to her once or twice about wanting a watch from her line so much that she finally caved and bought me one. I think Olivia Burton has arrived on the scene with a bang, and good on her because my god are her designs beautiful.

I have been wearing this watch a lot since Christmas and I have had lots of compliments on it. I like the black leather strap as it definitely not what I would have chosen for myself, but it goes with every single outfit which I wear. The black dial face is a classic design and I love it in contrast to the gold detailing. As a whole I am more of a rose gold than a gold lover, but this has definitely added some variety to my jewellery. The stand out part of the watch and what I adore about it to most is the actual design of the watch face. The lace and the flowers intertwined is such a pretty combination, and I like that it is just around the bottom part of the watch. The size of the dial is 30mm which a perfect size for my arm, as I did not want anything too big or bulky.

The watch costs £78 which is I think it a very reasonable price as I think they have found their market with customers. The brand has created pieces which are delicate and she definitely has quite a classic girly feel to her jewellery which is honestly why I love it so much. I love pieces which are not too over the top, which are simple but have some details which finish the pieces off perfectly. She has recently launched a bee collection and I am simply obsessed with it. I recently treated myself to a bee a ring from the line as it is so beautiful.

Olivia Burton has definitely got my seal of approval with this watch and her simplistic designs. I know for sure I am going to be looking at her line when I want to expand my jewellery collection in anyway. She has a vast variety of watches out at the moment and there is definitely something for everyone.

Lucy
xoxo
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Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette







The Jaclyn Hill Morphe palette first launched back in November and there is no hiding the amount of hype which surrounded its release. I am a big fan of Jaclyn Hill and her YouTube videos. I can always scroll through her videos and find a makeup look which I want to attempt to recreate. She I started watching her videos years and she has always been a champion for Morphe, and she has definitely contributed to the huge brand which is it now. When she announced a collaboration palette with Morphe, I had huge expectations for this palette. It is not hidden fact that I have been a Morphe palette lover ever since their famous 35O palette launched (post here), and took the beauty industry by storm. They recently brought out a 35O2 palette and I love it, I wrote a full dedicated post to it which you can read here.

I have had this palette for three months now, so I have definitely put it to the test. The palette comes in a white cardboard case, which looks nice but it gets very dirty and it is not as durable as there black plastic casings. I like the size of the palette though as it is not too thick or bulky in length and width. The palette contains 35 palettes which is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, as most palettes contain 12-15 shades. It is no lie that I am fond of warm golden and coppery shades, they are my ultimate go-to. What I love the most about this palette is there are around 10 shades which would be my usual go to shades. However, she has added some yellow and pinker undertone shadows to spice up the palette. On the left hand size she has also put in 5 green, blue and purple tones shades and I love that. She has added some versatility to the palette, and it isn't just the good old classic golden warmed toned palette.

There are 17 matte shades in this palette, and the others are a mix of shimmer and metallic shades.  I feel that Jaclyn has got this bob on and has a really got a great mix of textures in the palette. The most important aspect of any product is how good it performs. All the shadows have a dreamy creamy, easy to blend consistency. They are all highly pigmented and are one swipe shadows. The metallic shadows are must ultimate favourite especially firework (6th on the second row), queen (7th on the second row) and cranapple (7th on the third row). This came with a plastic sheet which had all the shadow names on, and this is a little bit annoying as it is super easy to loose. It would have been much better to have the shade names printed underneath each shadow. The only negative thing I have to say about the shadows performance is a few of the shimmer shades have quite a bit of fall out, so I have learnt take a little bit and build it up so I don't end up with it all over my face!

This palette cost £37 from Beautybay and is finally back in stock after so long. It took me so long to get my hands on it and I managed to get it in BeautyBay's first launch which was actually quite a few months after the initial USA launch. There was a little bit of controversy regarding the price of the palette as Morphe's other 35 shade palettes cost just £23. I totally get why consumers are a little sceptical about the added £14 difference. I understand that this is a limited edition palette, and also BeautyBay have to pay more for the import on these palettes. However, in the USA it is the same pricing, the Jaclyn Hill palette is $38 and their other palettes are $23. Overall, I think this palette is still worth the £37, and I think that Morphe and Jaclyn have created a unique palette which is different from anything else on the market right now. I don't often say I would whole heartedly recommend a product, but this palette is great and brilliant if you want something which you can travel with and has a vast shade range. All hail Jaclyn and her dreamy palette!

Lucy
xoxo


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